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Entries Tagged as IPCPR

Kick Off

January 27, 2015 · By · No Comments

In addition to the Super Bowl this week, there is another kick off of sorts.  It is the first tobacco show of the year.  Held in Vegas it is Tobacco Plus Expo and mostly geared to small stores and convenience shops.  There will be some premium cigars there, but my guess is there will be a lot of vaping stuff as well and I mean a lot.  It will be interesting to see the mood of the show and see what the year may have in store.

Cloudy New Orleans

At least this first show is not in doubt. The big one is.  Last week, the New Orleans City council passed a smoking ban.   This is a cause of concern because New Orleans is set to host the annual cigar trade show this summer.  If it were my decision, I’d move it.  Why should tobacconists give New Orleans ANY money?  But the IPCPR says on its Facebook page

This legislation passed unanimously with favorable amendments. As amended, the legislation will not impact the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailer Association's (IPCPR) local members or our 83rd Annual Convention & International Trade Show. The ability to smoke in cigar bars, the convention center, and in facilities being used for private events is protected by the amendment.

The favorable amendments are a handful of exemptions that could easily be taken away.  The big one is that it allows smoking at the trade show on the floor. The IPCPR is playing for a tie not a win.  Glynn Loope of the Cigar Rights of America isn’t buying it.  He says this smoking ban is a first step and he realizes the other side goes for incrementalism.  In 2007, Louisiana passed a state wide smoking ban for restaurants and many workplaces but exemptions were made for Casinos and bars.  Now, New Orleans is taking those exemptions away. 

The original city legislation had it so you couldn’t smoke within 25 feet of a door, but that was lowered to 5 feet when the council figured out that would effectively ban smoking on Bourbon Street.  (By the way this goes into effect AFTER Mardi Gras.)

As for enforcement, it won’t be the cops giving tickets as originally planned. They already have their hands full. With Mardi Gras coming up the locals are worried about crime.  In the French Quarter, there are signs telling people to travel in large groups because of the city’s violence.  The NOPD is understaffed.

The force has lost about 500 officers since Katrina struck in 2005 and it is now down to about 1,150 — far fewer than the 1,600 that Landrieu would like. As few as 250 officers were found to be on patrol duty and responding to calls for help in May 2013, a city inspector general report found last May.

"I have been to some roll calls where there is one cop, two cops," said Michael Glasser, president of the Police Association of New Orleans, a police union.

The Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, wanted the council to delay action so his office could study the issue.  They didn’t want to wait.

Harrah’s tried to tell the council that they were looking at a 20 percent drop in revenues because of the casino smoking ban.  The supporters say the ban will bring more business to the casinos. They always say that.  In December, the Louisiana State Police, which oversees gambling, projected a $104-million dollar loss due to a smoking ban.  I hope this goes like Atlantic City where similar arguments were made and ignored.  When Atlantic City banned smoking in casinos, it lasted about a week once the city saw the revenue drop.

Says Glynn Loope, “every job that is lost in New Orleans lies at the feet of Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell who pushed this bill.”


No CommentsTags: cigar industry · cigar laws · cigar news · IPCPR

IPCPR Moving

January 23, 2015 · By · No Comments

The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association is moving to Washington.  For many years, the IPCPR operated out of Columbus, Georgia which had a low overhead, but made for wicked commutes to DC to fight legislation in Congress.  So about a year ago, the organization decided it was time to move up.  A building was found on Capitol Hill, a short walk from the legislators and work has begun to make the building a home for the group.  The IPCPR hopes to move in sometime this summer. 

The reactions are pretty positive.  Jim Young, president of Davidoff North America says he is thrilled that the IPCPR will now be on the front line of fighting federal legislation.  The CEO of the IPCPR says that the new headquarters will enable the organization to house its staff in one locale to provide better service.  (Right now the IPCPR has staff in 5 states.)

One question is will people be able to smoke in the new DC headquarters.  Tobacco shops are exempt, but the IPCPR is not a tobacco shop.

  The law requires the employer to generally prohibit smoking in the enclosed area of a place of employment[xii], but the employer may permit smoking in an outdoor area under his or her control, subject to the terms and conditions of the lease or contract between the owner and the tenant.

I’m sure they will work on it.


No CommentsTags: cigar laws · cigar news · IPCPR

Good News Bad News

January 15, 2015 · By · No Comments

In Nebraska, it was thought that smoking in the state’s cigar bars would end with the dawn of the New Year.  Last year, that state’s supreme court ruled that the exemption for cigar bars to the state’s non-smoking law was not legal.  That meant that all the cigar bars would have to ban smoking beginning this year.  Well red tape seems to be our friend.

“A bunch of steps in the administrative procedures act has to be taken in order to implement this matter,” Nebraska Liquor Control Commission chairman Bob Batt said.

“Anytime you get anything affecting the status of your license, it would stand to reason that you are given the opportunity for an appeal process,” Safari Cigars and Lounge attorney Bill McGinn said. “We're assuming that's what will happen here.”

In the meantime, supporters of the cigar bars are introducing new legislation to allow them to stay open.

State Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill submitted a bill Friday that would restore smoking in cigar bars and tobacco shops.

Let’s hope the legislature moves quickly on this. 

Meanwhile, in New Orleans let’s hope thing go slowly.  The city council there is getting ready to vote on a smoking ban for the city.  There is opposition but last week a committee voted 3-2 to proceed.  According to reports the ordinance may have enough support to pass.  That would be a major bummer for the IPCPR that is planning on holding its trade show in the Crescent City this summer.

Cantrell’s ordinance would make it illegal to smoke, with a few exceptions, in all enclosed public spaces, private clubs, correctional facilities and school buildings in the city. Smoking also would be prohibited in parks during public events sponsored by the city and outdoors within 25 feet of public property and within 5 feet of commercial buildings.

Cantrell revised her original ordinance to remove a prohibition on smoking at all public events and in the common areas of apartment buildings, retirement homes and nursing facilities.

The ordinance that will go before the council also includes a provision that would grandfather in existing cigar and hookah bars — businesses with the sole purpose of selling smoking devices and providing a place for them to be used.

It could make it a very unfriendly venue for the trade show.


No CommentsTags: cigar laws · cigar life · IPCPR

NOLA smoking

September 26, 2014 · By · No Comments

The IPCPR has said next year’s convention will be in New Orleans.   New Orleans has been a rather friendly city for smokers, but by the time the convention rolls around, maybe not so much. City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell recently pushed for a smoke-free week in the crescent city and plans to go further with some help from her anti-tobacco friends…

Statewide Healthier Air for All Campaign under the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL). TFL has led the charge in Baton Rouge to push for statewide bans on smoking in bars, though that legislation has failed. But several cities and parishes have recently adopted their own legislation to prohibit smoking in barrooms. Mirroring recent laws in Alexandria, Monroe, West Monroe and all of Ouachita Parish, this fall Cantrell plans to introduce legislation to make New Orleans bars and public buildings smoke-free.

So a tobacco convention is set to spend many bucks in New Orleans next summer and the council wants to ban smoking.  That should work out well.


No CommentsTags: cigar industry · IPCPR


August 21, 2014 · By · No Comments

Camacho Ecuador

One of the newer things at the Davidoff booth was the recently released Camacho Ecuador. The cigar with the blue band and box actually came out just before the show, but it was prominently featured at the booth.  The new Camacho uses a Habano seed grown in Ecuador for its wrapper with a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and high priming Honduran tobaccos along with Pelo de Oro ligero from the Dominican Republic for fillers.  It comes in 5 sizes from a 5” x 50 Robusto to a 6” 60 Gordo and prices start just under $7.

Davidoff also continued the Camacho Liberty Series for 2014, which also uses the Habano Ecuadoran wrapper but it is from 2005.  This cigar contains a 2006 Corojo binder and fillers from both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  It is only one size, 11/18 and comes in 20 count boxes with a total production of only 2,000 boxes.  They retail for $17 each.

Another addition to the Camacho line is the Double Shock.  The logo for this cigar is the rare double-tailed scorpion.  Davidoff says this barber pole type of cigar was made in the Danli factory with tobaccos from 5 different countries. The wrappers are, again, the Ecuadoran Habano but paired with a dark San Andres leaf creating the barber pole effect.  The binder is Criollo and the fillers are from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Pennsylvania.  The double shock is limited to 1,000 boxes of each size.  They come in three sizes, Toro, Figurado and Gordo and the retail is from $11.50 to $13.  They should hit store shelves in October.

Finally, part of the Camacho “Board of the Bold” is Hollywood writer, producer and director Rob Weiss.  He is best known for the HBO series Entourage.  Weiss now has partnered with Camacho and Davidoff to form the B.G. Meyer Company and has released a couple of cigars.  The first line is the Standard Issue, which uses Nicaraguan tobaccos made at AgroIndustrias Laepe S.A. in Danli—the old Camacho and now Davidoff factory.  It comes in five sizes, again from the 5” x 50 Robusto to a 6” x 60 Gordo.  Prices are from $8-10.  The second cigar is called Slackers which is a smaller stick being sold in 4 packs. Whereas the Standard Issue is medium to full, Slackers is more on the mild side with an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers.  Cost will be about $4 each.


No CommentsTags: Camacho · Davidoff · IPCPR · new cigars

More from the IPCPR: Prohibition

July 31, 2014 · By · No Comments

Rocky Patel  is launching several new lines.  The Super Ligero is an amped up stick which uses a Habano St. Augustin wrapper with a special hybrid called super ligero and double ligero.  Coming in four sizes from a lancero up to a sixty ring gauge the price is $7-$8.  The company also is launching a Cameroon version of the Decade.  Same blend as the regular Decade just with a Cameroon wrapper.  It will come in three sizes and will run $9.75 to $11.25.  He also has Catch 22, a line without his name on the brand.  This is a value play with pricing starting at $4.50 for a Rothschild up to $5.50 for a 6” x 60.

Rocky Patel Prohibition

Probably the most fun and politically incorrect launch is Prohibition.  The cigars are packed in mason jars, 16 to a jar and come in a crate.  If you have seen Boardwalk Empire, think about how the booze was smuggled into the U-S during Prohibition.  Says Rocky, “ With the current atmosphere against tobacco we are probably heading towards a time of Prohibition again, so I wanted to make a statement and I hope get people fired up about working to stop this proposed control by the FDA.”

The cigars in the jars have either a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper or Mexican San Andres.  The binder is Brazilian Matafina and the filler is all Nicaraguan.  They are one size 6.5” x 52 and will retail for $8. 

Rocky also is making a bigger Edge…the 7” x 70 Howitzer in both Corojo and Maduro.  It will retail for $10.


No CommentsTags: IPCPR · new cigars

IPCPR, continued

July 30, 2014 · By · No Comments

Crowned Heads

Jon Huber over at Crowned Heads is releasing a new line addition called Jerico Hill.  This augments the original Four Kicks, Headley Grange and J.D. Howard Reserve.  The company began only in 2011 and has scored some impressive hits.  The Jerico Hill.  The name was inspired by Johnny Cash’s version of Cocaine Blues from the Live at Folsom Prison album.  The song is about a guy who is brought to justice by a sheriff from Jerico Hill…hence the name.  The wrapper is a dark San Andres leaf over Nicaragua filler and binder.  Most of the cigars from Crowned Heads come from the factory of Ernesto Perez Carrillo in the Dominican Republic…but this one comes from Pepin and the My Father factory in Nicaragua.  It brings a new flavor to the line.  It comes in four sizes from 5.125” x 44 up to a 6” x 54 with prices ranging from $7.95 to $9.75.


Speaking of the Perez-Carrillos, Ernesto’s daughter Lissette wanted to bring out a cigar as an homage to the family’s Cuban roots.  The result is La Historia featuring a beautiful band showing Lissette’s grandmother in Cuba on one side and Lissette herself in Miami on the other.  The blend is medium to full using a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Ecuador Sumatran binder and Nicaraguan fillers.  There are three sizes –6.125” x 50, 5.375” x 52 and 6.875” x 54 with prices running from $7.75 to $8.75. 


At Toraño, Charlie Toraño is putting his name on a cigar this year.  It is called Captiva named for the small island off the southwest coast of Florida and one of Charlie’s favorite places.  The cigar uses a nice oily Ecuador wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers for a medium to full bodied smoke with very good flavors.  It comes in 4 sizes and is priced from about $8 to $9 for the 6” x 60.


No CommentsTags: IPCPR · new cigars

More from the IPCPR

July 29, 2014 · By · No Comments

Going through last week and the show was certainly interesting.  New people with new cigars and some old favorites.  I never did get to everyone even though things seemed quieter than normal, probably because of the bigger space we are in.  I want to try to cover more stuff, so today we’ll do some quick hits.


Padron 50th Anniversary

Padron is showing its latest creation the 50th anniversary.  This specially aged cigar comes in a fantastic gold trimmed humidor.  There is not an agreement on the price but most likely it will retail for between $4,700 and $5,000.  The humidor is trimmed with real gold and holds 50 of the special 50th cigars. The deal is that if you buy one of the 500 humidors the company is making, you will be able to re-stock the humidor by being able to buy more of the cigars for the next five years.


Pete Johnson released the Tattoo robusto earlier this year.  It is a $5 retail cigar.  Here at the show, as promised, Pete released three more sizes in the Tattoo line: a 6” x 50 Toro for $5.50, a 6.125” x 52 Torpedo for $6 and a 5.5” x 58 Toro Grande  for $6.50.

Over at L’Atelier there is the new Extension de la Racine... extention of the root.  This year it is a torpedo at 6.125” x 52.  The ER 14 uses a Criollo wrapper with the Sancti Spiritus in the binder along with all Nicaraguan fillers to give the unique L’Atelier  taste.  It will run $9.50 and is a limited run.  K.C Johnson and Dan Welsh also are adding to the Surrogates line with Satin Glove which uses a San Andres wrapper for full flavor .  It comes 7” x 47 and box pressed with a retail of $8.75.  They are also adding to their Special Selection collection with the LAT Torpedo for $9.50 and the 38 Special a 7.5” x 38 lancero for $9.75.  The special selection uses a higher priming wrapper for more strength and flavor.  


No CommentsTags: IPCPR · new cigars

General Musings

July 23, 2014 · By · No Comments

Macanudo Estate Reserve Jamaica

Today began with the General Cigar booth.  The trip took two hours.  There is a lot to see.  Starting with Macanudo, the company is releasing another Estate Reserve.  What makes this cigar unique, aside from its limitation of only 1800 boxes per size, is that it goes back to Macanudo’s roots in Jamaica.  The cigar features a Connecticut Shade wrapper over a Mexican binder, but the fillers are from Jamaica.  Macanudo was originally made in Jamaica and used local tobacco in the blend.  This one harkens back to that time.  Coming in three sizes, a 5” x 50 Robusto for $16, a 7” x 50 Churchill at  $17 and a 6” x 57 Belicoso for $18.

Dunhill’s Signed Range got a facelift and the company has released its Dunhill 1907 a couple of months ago.

Rick of the Jungle

CAO Amazon Basin

CAO has been more ambitious.  Rick Rodriguez has been playing with a unique tobacco.  The tobacco is called Braganca and comes from deep within the Amazon jungle.  The crop is organically grown by the tribes who live in the jungle.  Of course it is organic, they have no other chemicals or tools at their disposal. The tobacco is harvested once every three years and then takes six months to cure.  The tobacco itself is unique, having had a small sample of it a couple of years ago I can say by itself I can see why the locals probably use it for religious and medicinal uses.  Ricky says in the blend the tobacco is earthy and nutty and a pleasantly dry finish.  Because of the low yield of the crop and it’s harvesting every three years, the Amazon Basin will be a limited production.  In addition to the Braganca, the blend uses Nicaraguan binder and filler with an Ecuadoran Sumatran wrapper.  There is one size 6” x 52 and will cost $9.25 per stick.  The band on the cigar is also made out of tobacco.

New World

CAO Colombia

The Amazon Basin is jointed by CAO Colombia which is now part of the CAO world series (That would include Brazila, Italia, America, and the above Amazon Basin)

The tobacco for Colombia is grown by a family of farmers in a remote mountainous section of the country.  It is derived from an original Cuban seed, but that was back in the 1820s so the tobacco has changed a bit since then.  Ica Mazinga, as the strain is known, has a toasty nutty flavor and adds to this medium bodied cigar.  It comes in four sizes ranging from 5” x 50 to 6” x 60 and priced between $6 -$7.75.

La Gloria Cubana

La Gloria Cubana has its final Rival Twin package.  This is a friendly rivalry between La Gloria Cubana’s Dominican factory and the Honduran factory.  It comes in a unique double box, which is held together by magnets.  It is pretty cool.  The Dominican blend uses Ecuadoran wrapper and binder with Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers.  The Honduras version uses a Honduran wrapper over an Indonesian binder and Honduran, Mexican and Colombian fillers.  These cigars measure 8” x 52 and cost $9.50.

La Gloria also is back with its Trunk Show, for this year there are only 500 boxes of each blend.  The Liga YG 23 (from Yuri Guillen) uses a Connecticut wrapper over Dominican binder and Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan fillers.  Jhonys Diaz has his Liga JD-05 and it uses an Ecuadoran Wrapper and Binder with Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. And Michael Giannini has his MG-08 using Ecuadoran wrapper over Connecticut Habano binder with Honduran, Colombian and Nicaraguan fillers.  Each cigar is 7.25” x 54 and will retail for $9.95.

Back to the Future

Speaking of Michael Giannini (the creative director of General and head of Foundry Tobacco Company), he is back at it again.  His newest creation is the Worm Hole, which takes smokers from 1964 to 2014 to 2064.  For the 1964, Giannini plays off of the New York World’s Fair booth General Cigar had.  It was the one that produced smoke rings and was a look into the future ( from 1964’s viewpoint) . There are two sizes in the 64 series—Expect  and The Unexpected.  The 2014 series is Worm  and Hole and the 2064 series is  Hell-i-EN and Hal-ion,  As usual Giannini does not talk about the blends because he wants people to experience it without any preconceived notions.  But he says for the 2064 series he expects it to be using tobacco from Mars.  He thinks we will grow it there one day.  These Foundry cigars run just below and above $8.

The Compounds series has three new additions, Dubnium, Lithium and Cobalt.  These run under $7.

Rare Air

Another limited production is the Rare Air.  This is an interesting product in that General is using some very old seeds.  The seeds were found many years ago in an old warehouse.  They were from the 1960s and maybe even earlier.  Over the past few years, the company has been regenerating these seeds.  The first seed that gave the company the idea was a Habano seed grown in Connecticut.  Under the supervision of then president Daniel Nunez the company developed the old seed back into a viable crop.  From that germination, the company has been taking other seeds as part of the Mao Project where it is bringing these other old seeds back to life. Giannini is taking these small batches of tobacco and putting them into the Rare Air.  These are truly rare tobaccos and the price for these cigars is $9.45.

Foundry also is releasing a value prices line called Chillin Moose.  It comes in three sizes – Corona, Robusto and Gigante—and runs between $3.25 and $4.


No CommentsTags: IPCPR · new cigars

Wandering IPCPR

July 22, 2014 · By · 1 Comment

When you are in Vegas, you lose all sense of time.  Especially when you are walking the huge Sands convention center floor for IPCPR.  Traffic seems a bit lighter this year, but it could be due to the layout. 

The first day was a long one, not only on the floor, but then there was a tasting last night at Lavo—a club inside the sister hotel of the Venetian.  Starting at 8 am with the breakfast and going til 9 at night makes a long day and generally that is what the trade show is like.

There is a lot of new product here.  At Altadis USA, much of what is new, has already come out.  The company seems to have decided that rather than flooding the market with a bunch of new stuff in July, when the product is ready, the company releases it.  Earlier this year,  The Banker by H. Upmann was released and it pays homage to the Upmann brothers who 170 years ago decided to make a cigar they could give to the clients of their bank.  It uses this year’s hot wrapper—Ecuador Habano over a Nicaraguan binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. 

The second product released right before the show was Espada, the new Nicaraguan Montecristo made in partnership with Nestor Plasencia, in his Nicaraguan factory.  The Espada represents a new taste profile for Montecristo, offering smokers a deeper flavor. The Espada uses all vintage tobaccos in the blend.  A Habano seed from Jalapa is the wrapper with a vintage of 2000, the same leaf is the binder but its vintage is 2009.  The fillers are from 2008 and are Habano seed coming from three different Nicaraguan areas, Jalapa, Ometepe and Condega.  Espada comes in three sizes 5” x 54, 6” x 50 and 7" x 56, priced from $11.25 to $12.50.

The newest release for the show is the 1875 by Romeo and Julieta.  This line sits between the classic Romeo flavor profile and the stronger RyJ which is another Nicaraguan cigar.  Made in Honduras, the 1875 by Romeo and Julieta uses a 2010 vintage shade grown Indonesian wrapper over aged Dominican piloto binder and aged fillers of Olor and Dominican tobaccos.  It comes in five sizes from the Dos measuring 44 x 5.5” to the 6” x 60 Gordo.  This is not to be confused with the existing Romeo Y Julieta 1875.

But other additions to the company’s portfolio are the Vegafina Sumum 2013—a limited edition cigar using a Cameron wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguanb and Dominican fillers.  There are only 2,000 boxes for this one size Toro and it will retail for $9.50.  The Juan Lopez line is getting a big boy - the new Juan Lopez will be a 7” x 70 with a retail price of $6.75…and the Casa de Garcia  also is adding a 7” x 70 for the price of $3.50.

Altadis USA president Javier Estades says the company is focused on bringing new profiles and sizes to its lines as a way a satisifying  consumer demand. 

Connecticut My Father

The My Father line from Pepin and Jaime Garcia has added a new flavor to the line with a Connecticut wrapper.  Known for the spice and power of most of their cigars, the Garcias are using an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper over Nicaraguan Habano Criollo binder and  Nicaraguan Corojo 99 fillers.  But in addition to those tobaccos, the cigar features another aromatic leaf to give the Connecticut My Father a unique taste.  It comes in 4 sizes from a Corona Gordo at 6” x 48 up to a Toro Gordo at 6” x 60.  Pricing ranges from $7.50 to $9.40.

New Ashton

It has been 10 years since Ashton has added to its core line.  This year marks the introduction of Symmetry, the latest expansion for the company, and, like the other Ashton cigars, it comes from Tabacalera Fuente in Santiago.  Symmetry uses an Ecuador Habano wrapper over a Dominican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and the Fuente farm in Nicaragua and this is the first Ashton to use Nicaraguan tobacco.  The cigars will come in 5 sizes the smallest is 5.625” x 46 and the largest is 6” x 52.  Prices for the Symmetry will run from $11.50 to $12.75.  

The Company’s La Aroma de Cuba line is showing a limited edition called Noblesse.  The cigar comes in one size, a 6.5 x 52 toro and will retail for $16 (the highest prices La Aroma de Cuba ever).  It also uses an Ecuador Habano wrapper but the rest of the tobacco comes from the farms of Pepin Garcia and his family who make the vitola for Ashton.


Davidoff is continuing to show tremendous growth.  The company is up 23% this year.  The Davidoff Nicaragua blend has been a big seller for the company.  At its booth, the company unveiled its newest Nicaraguan size, the Diadema which will retail for $18.  But this year at the show, the company introduced more affordable options for those who love the blend Primeros by Davidoff in the Nicaraguan blend. These are small panatelas which come 6 to a tin for about $30.    B.G. Meyer is another line under the Camacho segment.  The company has more, but for today that’s it from me.. I am beat.


1 CommentTags: IPCPR · new cigars